When I first heard about "The Big Donor Show," an elaborate reality TV show hoax staged in early June on TV in the Netherlands, I was as abhorred as the most squeamish of Dutch viewers. In the one-night broadcast, three contestants in need of a kidney transplant were competing to "win" the kidney of a terminally ill woman. At the last minute, though, as viewers sat on the edge of their seats in horror over who would live and die, the host revealed that the show was a hoax, that the would-be donor was a perfectly healthy actress, that all the actors were willingly in on it, and that the point of the trick was to raise awareness for the need to change Dutch organ donation laws and promote organ donation choices.
Grotesque in the extreme.
But then for a while, my Mom changed my mind. When I brought it up this weekend, she questioned whether perhaps it was worth it -- macabre as it was -- because the Netherlands, it turns out, has a very stupid law in place. To be a live donor, you must be a relative or close friend. No anonymous strangers allowed. (Whaddaya think of that, Mike?) And they have the same shortage challenges we face here, and the world faces overall. Okay, I conceded she has a point.
Now, though, I'm back to critical. It's all just too ugly for me I guess. After a very quick Google search, I found this posting by a professional British blog bloke, Mal Fletcher (killer smile, that one)that reflects my own opinion quite well.
In January 2006 I successfully donated half my liver to my brother, Joe. This blog began in November 2005, when I was just a hopeful donor candidate, and continues today as a vehicle for sharing my experience and building community among past, current, and would-be live organ donors and transplant recipients. Thank you for stopping by. All content on this blog, including images and text unless otherwise cited, is copyright (c) 2005-2007, Becky Waller. All rights reserved.
In 2007 I founded the Greatest Gift Foundation, which provides information and support to living organ donors throughout their transplant experience. I'm in Minneapolis, when I'm not traveling the country meeting with transplant teams. Contact us at email@example.com.